Earth Day Activity Guide (for wherever you are)!
Updated: Apr 16
Looking for some COVID safe activities for Earth Week? Here are some ideas!
Learn and Teach About the Environment and Climate Change
Earth Day isn't about just one day - it can be a time to learn, educate, and brainstorm long-term and collective actions to help the Earth. We published a list of Sustainability Books for Youth, categorized by age level and with topics such as gardening, climate change, and intersectional environmental justice (fiction and non-fiction!). We have resources on how to teach elementary-aged kids about Climate Change (for elementary-age). We also put together a list of Gardening EBooks for Adults! And, we did a three part workshop series that you can watch about Food, Waste and Climate (virtual series). You can also engage in our 8 guided lessons on Food Justice: In the Community.
Do Some Earth Day Scientific Research:
Take a nature walk and observe local wildlife. While you are out, turn off all power in your home to conserve energy. Anyone can be a citizen scientist: volunteers, students, and professional scientists all collect data and submit it for scientific analysis--providing critical data, enhancing community engagement, and contributing to research. We compiled some fun ways people of all ages can get involved in citizen science!
Food Scraps! Start a Compost Bin or Grow a Garden From Food Scraps:
Not sure what to do with those leftover food scraps? Don't throw them out, this Earth day you can show your love for the planet by easily starting either an at home compost bin or your own scrap garden! We made a beginner guide to composting as well as a guide to start a food scrap garden. You can also start re-purposing your coffee grounds, eggshells, and other vegetative waste back into the soil. Here is a fun homemade fertilizer recipe.
Stuck at home and can't garden outside? No worries! Gardening indoors can be even simpler and just as rewarding as planting outside. This Beginners' Guide to Houseplants shows the 10 best houseplants for beginners to turn their thumb green.
Another route is to grow your own mini produce garden by planting sprouts or microgreens. They can easily be planted right on your windowsill and the yield is perfect for sandwiches and salads! Read our guide to microgreens!
Help Local Wildlife
Plant native plants to attract wildlife, especially pollinators, and better the ecosystem. Check out resources below to support pollinators:
Another fun idea is to make a DIY bug hotel out of scavenged fallen branches and recycled wood/cardboard. You can also make DIY birdfeeders with pinecones, peanut butter, and assorted bird seeds (but make sure birds also have a constant food source of natural plants as well!).
Scouting for Spring Birds:
This guide to NYC Spring Birds includes most of the birds that you should be able to spot in parks, from windowsills, and backyards citywide. A great activity that you can do with your students or family to get a breath of fresh air outside!
Eat Local! Smoothies, Drinks, and Veggie Chips:
Eating locally when possible helps the environment by reducing the amount of fossil fuels needed to transport food. With spring just arriving, a refreshing drink is the perfect way to relax at home and use your early spring season produce. Click here for healthy and tasty beverage ideas for your fresh spring berries and fruits, or click here for a guide on how to make delicious smoothie blends with farmers market produce! Don't know what to make with the leftover farmers market or winter produce? Veggie chips are a quick, healthy, and easy solution! Click here for a full guide to veggie chips or here for delicious kale chips.
From Our Partners: Live Virtual Opportunities
NYC Parks GreenThumb Earth Week (April 20-22, 2021)
Staten Island Museum Earth Day How-To Fest (April 22, 2021)
DOE Office of Sustainability Earth Week for NYC educators (April 19-23, 2021)
WWF: Being a Young Environmental Advocate presentation and discussion (April 22, 2021)
The Earth Day organization provides a global map of Virtual Earth Day events
Earth Day Initiative and March for Science NYC Virtual Earth Day Event
The Global Climate Summit held on Earth Day from the White House
NASA is hosting a virtual NASA Earth Day. Astronaut Jessica Meir will also be going live with NASA on Instagram to talk about her work on the International Space Station.
From Our Partners: In Person Opportunities
Please note that GrowNYC is not hosting any of the events below--they are facilitated by other organizations and entities:
Queens County Farm Bee-A-Pollinator Earth Day Service Day (April 22, 2021): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bee-a-pollinator-earth-day-service-day-tickets-149928148127?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Harlem Earth Day Activation @The HORT (April 24, 2021): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/harlem-earth-day-activation-greenhouse-tour-the-hort-tickets-147833041607?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Earth Day Walk at Green-Wood Cemetery (April 22, 2021): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/earth-day-walk-tickets-149368448049?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Van Cortlandt Park Earth Day Clean-Up (April 24, 2021): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nywea-yp-van-cortlandt-park-earth-day-clean-up-tickets-149607332559?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Volunteer at Gowanus Canal Conservancy (Various times): https://gowanuscanalconservancy.org/volunteer/
Stewardship Saturdays with Newtown Creek Alliance (Various times): http://www.newtowncreekalliance.org/2021volunteer/
Volunteer with NYC Parks at a park clean-up or other opportunity (Various times): https://www.nycgovparks.org/opportunities/volunteer
Snug Harbor Staten Island Earth Day Cleanup (April 17, 2021): https://snug-harbor.org/event/snug-harbor-earth-day-cleanup/
Planting and Cleanup at Lenoir Preserve (April 19, 2021): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pitch-in-for-parks-2021-painting-planting-cleanup-at-lenoir-preserve-tickets-140561752987?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Look up your nearby community gardens, parks, compost sites, neighborhood associations and community-based organizations for opportunities near you! Or, organize your own socially-distanced clean-up or planting day with your neighbors.
Whatever you choose to do this Earth Day and beyond, we hope it is restorative for you and the Earth we inhabit together!